Talita Anthonio


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Resolving Implicit References in Instructional Texts
Talita Anthonio | Michael Roth
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Computational Approaches to Discourse

The usage of (co-)referring expressions in discourse contributes to the coherence of a text. However, text comprehension can be difficult when referring expressions are non-verbalized and have to be resolved in the discourse context. In this paper, we propose a novel dataset of such implicit references, which we automatically derive from insertions of references in collaboratively edited how-to guides. Our dataset consists of 6,014 instances, making it one of the largest datasets of implicit references and a useful starting point to investigate misunderstandings caused by underspecified language. We test different methods for resolving implicit references in our dataset based on the Generative Pre-trained Transformer model (GPT) and compare them to heuristic baselines. Our experiments indicate that GPT can accurately resolve the majority of implicit references in our data. Finally, we investigate remaining errors and examine human preferences regarding different resolutions of an implicit reference given the discourse context.

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UnImplicit Shared Task Report: Detecting Clarification Requirements in Instructional Text
Michael Roth | Talita Anthonio
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Understanding Implicit and Underspecified Language

This paper describes the data, task setup, and results of the shared task at the First Workshop on Understanding Implicit and Underspecified Language (UnImplicit). The task requires computational models to predict whether a sentence contains aspects of meaning that are contextually unspecified and thus require clarification. Two teams participated and the best scoring system achieved an accuracy of 68%.


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What Can We Learn from Noun Substitutions in Revision Histories?
Talita Anthonio | Michael Roth
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

In community-edited resources such as wikiHow, sentences are subject to revisions on a daily basis. Recent work has shown that resulting improvements over time can be modelled computationally, assuming that each revision contributes to the improvement. We take a closer look at a subset of such revisions, for which we attempt to improve a computational model and validate in how far the assumption that ‘revised means better’ actually holds. The subset of revisions considered here are noun substitutions, which often involve interesting semantic relations, including synonymy, antonymy and hypernymy. Despite the high semantic relatedness, we find that a supervised classifier can distinguish the revised version of a sentence from an original version with an accuracy close to 70%, when taking context into account. In a human annotation study, we observe that annotators identify the revised sentence as the ‘better version’ with similar performance. Our analysis reveals a fair agreement among annotators when a revision improves fluency. In contrast, noun substitutions that involve other lexical-semantic relationships are often perceived as being equally good or tend to cause disagreements. While these findings are also reflected in classification scores, a comparison of results shows that our model fails in cases where humans can resort to factual knowledge or intuitions about the required level of specificity.

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Towards Modeling Revision Requirements in wikiHow Instructions
Irshad Bhat | Talita Anthonio | Michael Roth
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

wikiHow is a resource of how-to guidesthat describe the steps necessary to accomplish a goal. Guides in this resource are regularly edited by a community of users, who try to improve instructions in terms of style, clarity and correctness. In this work, we test whether the need for such edits can be predicted automatically. For this task, we extend an existing resource of textual edits with a complementary set of approx. 4 million sentences that remain unedited over time and report on the outcome of two revision modeling experiments.

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wikiHowToImprove: A Resource and Analyses on Edits in Instructional Texts
Talita Anthonio | Irshad Bhat | Michael Roth
Proceedings of the 12th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Instructional texts, such as articles in wikiHow, describe the actions necessary to accomplish a certain goal. In wikiHow and other resources, such instructions are subject to revision edits on a regular basis. Do these edits improve instructions only in terms of style and correctness, or do they provide clarifications necessary to follow the instructions and to accomplish the goal? We describe a resource and first studies towards answering this question. Specifically, we create wikiHowToImprove, a collection of revision histories for about 2.7 million sentences from about 246000 wikiHow articles. We describe human annotation studies on categorizing a subset of sentence-level edits and provide baseline models for the task of automatically distinguishing “older” from “newer” revisions of a sentence.


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Team Kermit-the-frog at SemEval-2019 Task 4: Bias Detection Through Sentiment Analysis and Simple Linguistic Features
Talita Anthonio | Lennart Kloppenburg
Proceedings of the 13th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation

In this paper we describe our participation in the SemEval 2019 shared task on hyperpartisan news detection. We present the system that we submitted for final evaluation and the three approaches that we used: sentiment, bias-laden words and filtered n-gram features. Our submitted model is a Linear SVM that solely relies on the negative sentiment of a document. We achieved an accuracy of 0.621 and a f1 score of 0.694 in the competition, revealing the predictive power of negative sentiment for this task. There was no major improvement by adding or substituting the features of the other two approaches that we tried.